As someone who works professionally developing technology for military systems, I have become aware of a specific problem for which I think the US Congress should allocate more funding. This pertains to an existing system that could be improved significantly in its effectiveness if more funding were applied to a couple of key research areas. The needed amounts are relatively small, on the order of $10 million or so.
One problem is that the way the program is currently funded is relatively ad hoc, and not only that, it is funded by the wrong branch of the services, creating a situation where the program relies on funding decisions by a branch that does not benefit from the program. Needless to say, this is not good for the program.
I would like to notify the proper people in Congress of the problem so that they can apply money to the right area and hopefully fix the allocation screwup so that the correct group (the group using the system) is getting the funding.
The Pentagon is aware of the issues and is trying to resolve them in the usual way, but it is a huge bureaucracy, so progress has been slow. Another problem is that the brass probably does not understand the technical details deeply enough to realize the importance of what needs to be done. My job is just to develop the technology, not report its implications. For that, I have to rely on my customers at the Pentagon, and I think they have overlooked some of the criticality of the problem, in some respects. I recently read the 2017 defense budget and it really completely missed what needs to be done in this area.
The bottom line is that I want to alert the right person in Congress to the need to fund the relevant research and do not know the best way to go about this. My initial inclination is to write the Chairman of the relevant subcommittee (the Committee on Armed Services has seven subcommittees, one of which is relevant to my problem). However, I do not know if this is the best way to go about the lobbying process. Maybe I should be talking to lower level functionaries in the Rayburn building? What is the right approach here?